Having an online presence is non-negotiable for businesses, but the internet’s carbon footprint is substantial, contributing approximately 3.8% of global carbon emissions, surpassing even aviation at 2%. The impact of websites on our environment is significant, with an average website producing 4.61 grams of CO2 for every page view, totalling a staggering 553 kilograms of CO2 per year for a site with 10,000 monthly visitors.
Here’s how you can transform your website into an eco-friendly platform, reducing your carbon emissions and creating a positive impact on our planet.
Choose Green Data Centers
Select data centres close to your target audience to reduce energy consumption associated with data transmission. Studies have shown that choosing a data centre in a location like Sweden versus Ireland can lead to an 80% drop in emissions, making a substantial difference in your website’s environmental impact.
Simplify Navigation and Optimise Load Times
Simplify your website’s navigation for efficient user interactions and energy conservation. A one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Optimise loading speed for improved user experience, especially on mobile devices, where 53% of site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
Optimise Multimedia Content
Evaluate the necessity of images and videos on your website. Compress image files and use lazy loading techniques to improve loading times and save energy. Minimise video content, disable auto-play, and keep videos short, as videos can consume up to 7 times more energy than displaying a static image.
Write Efficient Code and Utilise CDNs
Ensure Accessibility and Security
Ensure accessibility for all users by incorporating features like alt tags and proper heading structures. Over 1 billion people globally have a disability, and an accessible website not only helps them but also reduces unnecessary energy consumption. Implement security measures to protect user data and ensure environmentally responsible hosting, as cyberattacks can increase a website’s energy consumption significantly.
Monitor and Choose Green Hosting
Regularly monitor your website’s environmental impact, including hosting energy consumption and data transfer. Choose hosting providers with energy-efficient servers and explore green hosting services powered by renewable energy sources. Green hosting can save up to 1,000 kg of CO2 per year per server, making it a sustainable choice for your business.
Craft Concise and Engaging Content
Craft concise content to reduce browsing time and energy waste. Users spend only 20% of their time reading on a webpage, so keeping content short and engaging not only benefits user experience but also contributes to energy conservation.
Invest in a Green Website Audit
It can be overwhelming to know where to start, with so many ways to make your web estate more eco-friendly. A green website audit is the perfect place to start in this case, as it will uncover all the areas of improvement and give you a concise hit list to tackle.
A thorough green website audit should cover every aspect of your website and hosting. To give you an idea of what you should expect, here’s the cheat sheet that we assess in our audits:
Design & Content
- SEO optimisation
- Efficient copywriting
- User experience (UX)
- Image optimisation
- Video usage
- Font selection
- Minimising scripts and plugins
- Caching policies
- Clean code
- Image optimisation (technical)
- Content delivery networks (CDNs)
- Mobile optimisation
- Carbon emission calculation
- Server efficiency
- Data centre location
- Server security
- Sustainable practices
- Loading speed
- Carbon footprint
A green website audit not only enhances the performance and user experience of your website but also aligns your digital presence with eco-friendly values. By implementing the recommendations outlined in the audit report, your business can significantly reduce its environmental impact, contributing to a more sustainable future.
By implementing these strategies, you can transform your website into an eco-friendly platform, reducing your carbon footprint and showcasing your commitment to environmental sustainability.